Canonical has just announced the beta SDK for Ubuntu Touch. While this might look just like another attempt at getting developers to work with yet another mobile operating system - it is much more. In fact you should be interested in this SDK even if you have no interest in mobile.
Canonical has a serious communications problem at the moment. Its headline news is that it is readying Ubuntu to work on touch enabled devices - phones, tablets and presumably TVs. This is a reasonable enough idea, but one that will be greeted by many with a bit of a yawn because we already have too many Linux based mobile operating systems. While Ubuntu enthusiasts might cheer the team on, the rest of us are already too deep into Android, iOS and even Firefox OS.
However, you should stifle that yawn because Ubuntu's strategy is something you need to know about. It isn't just about developing apps for a mobile operating system that doesn't actually have any shipping hardware at the moment. This is about developing what look like native apps that work on a very popular version of desktop Linux, i.e. Ubuntu. The fact that Canonical is producing versions of Ubuntu for mobile and touch enabled devices in general is therefore, to many developers, just the icing on the cake.
It really is that simple and works wiith any Qt widget that you want to use. For example:
puts a Qt CheckBox on the page.
You can see that this isn't exactly the standard HTML way to create a UI, but it is close and you get something that looks and feels like a native application that will run on everything from Desktop Ubuntu, through a tablet to a phone. You can even use responsive design to make sure tha the layout looks good.
There is a lot missing from this SDK and things don't always work first time - there is a lot of closing down the Qt creator and starting it up again for example - but you can see where the whole thing is going.
The idea seems to be write once run anywhere - as long as it is a flavor of Ubuntu.
All you need to work with the SDK is the latest Ubuntu on a desktop machine and perhaps a developer phone.